Canada on Wednesday urged the European Union to keep Hamas listed as a banned terrorist group, after an EU court ordered it removed from a blacklist.
"We are deeply concerned by the decision of the EU General Court to annul, on procedural grounds, the measures against Hamas," Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement quoted by AFP.
"We call on the EU to take the immediate remedial steps necessary to keep Hamas listed as a terrorist entity," he added.
Canada lists Hamas as a banned terrorist group.
The decision to remove Hamas, in both its military and governmental branches, from the EU’s list of proscribed terrorist groups was the result of a technical legal blunder.
After Hamas filed an appeal against its terrorist list standing, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg published its decision on Wednesday, with Hamas being removed due to claims that the group's inclusion in the list was against EU procedures and without sufficient evidence.
The EU later said it still considers Hamas to be a terrorist group.
"The EU continues to consider Hamas a terrorist organization," European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said, adding that the EU would consider its response to the court's ruling, including the possibility of an appeal.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the decision and demanded that the EU place Hamas back on the terror list.
The United States criticized the move as well and urged the European Union to keep up its sanctions on Hamas.
"The EU should maintain terrorism sanctions on Hamas," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, adding that the United States was studying a ruling by an EU court ordering that the Palestinian terrorist group be removed from an EU blacklist. "The U.S. position on Hamas has not changed; Hamas is a designated foreign terrorist organization."
"Hamas continues to engage in terrorist activity and has demonstrated its intentions during this summer's conflicts with Israel," Psaki added. "It fired thousands of rockets into Israeli civilian areas and attempted to infiltrate Israel through tunnels that extended into Israel."